09:00AM, Thursday 03 September 2015
Building work is set to start on Berkshire’s first children’s hospice.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the £5m Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service build will be held at Snowball Hill in Woodlands Park on Wednesday, September 23.
Charity co-founder Fiona Devine will be joined for the ceremony by founder patron Sir Michael Parkinson and other key supporters.
The Devine charity launched a two-year capital campaign in November 2013 to raise the money needed for the project.
It has been backed by the Advertiser through its Together We Can Build It campaign.
Determined parents John and Fiona Devine are the driving force behind the mission.
They lost their son Alexander at the age of eight to a rare brain tumour.
The family from Dedworth were forced to travel huge distances for help and support at specialist hospices, and vowed to honour their brave boy's memory by creating a caring and warm environment in Berkshire suitable for other seriously ill children from the county.
Fiona said: “The groundbreaking ceremony marks the start of a momentous period in the history of Alexander Devine.
“This moment has been achieved by all our supporters and volunteers and they have been a part of the journey in many forms. To each and every person that has fundraised for us or supported in kind we salute you and thank you.
“We have very limited space on site currently and therefore have had to limit numbers to groundbreaking. We very much look forward in the coming months, to welcoming the local community and our friends to the build.”
The charity still needs to raise another £1.2m to reach its target.
Sir Michael Parkinson said: “It’s been a long journey from the very beginning to now.
“It’s been an extraordinary time and the help and support of everyone has been great, but this is only the beginning. I look forward to the ceremony and would like to congratulate Fiona on her all her hard work.”
A murder investigation has been launched by Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime Unit following an incident in Bourne End.